The Neymar transfer saga is finally over. We have heard from Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Ronaldinho and Iniesta. But the one person we hadn’t heard from during this entire circus was the ring leader of the entire thing.
Just hours after PSG announced the signing of Neymar, the most expensive player in football history ($264 Million Buyout + $38 Million a year contract after taxes) took to his Instagram to say goodbye to his Barcelona fans, teammates and explain his decision to leave for Paris.
Below is the actual post by Neymar followed by a transcript of his message:
I prepared a text here for today.
The life of an athlete is made by challenges. Some are given to us. Others are fruits of our decision to keep the light that illuminates our career, which is intense but short.
Barcelona was more than a challenge. It was the dream of a child who played with those stars through a video game.
I arrived in Catalonia at 21, full of challenges. I still remember my first days in the Club, sharing the changing room with idols like Messi, Valdés, Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol, Piqué, Busquets and many other others, waiting my turn to play with a club that is "more than a club". @fcbarcelona is a nation that represents Catalonia!
I had the honor of playing with the greatest athlete I've ever seen in my life and I'm sure I will not see another one like him while I’m alive, @leomessi. He became my friend on and off the pitch. It was an honor to play with you.
I made a trio with @leomessi and @ luissuarez9 that made history. We conquered everything an athlete can conquer. I have lived unforgettable moments! I lived in a city that is more than a city, it is a homeland. I love Barcelona and Catalunya.
But an athlete (ME) needs challenges. And for the second time in my life I will contradict my father.
Papa, I understand and respect your opinion, but my decision is made, I ask you to support me as you have always do.
Barcelona and Catalonia will always be in my heart but I need new challenges. I have accepted the proposal of @psg to find new achievements and help the Club to achieve the titles that the fans want. I have presented a daring career plan and I am prepared for this challenge.
I want to thank the wonderful Blaugrana crowd and all that I have learned from the great athletes with whom I have shared dressing room.
Now I feel in my heart that the time has come to leave. @psg will be my new home for the next few years and I will work to honor the confidence they put in my football. I’m counting on the support of all of you who have been with me since 2009. Fans, my friends, the professionals who accompany me and my family, who have suffered a lot with problems that have occurred in this period of my career. They deserve peace.
It is a difficult decision, but taken with the maturity of my 25 years.
@fcbarcelona, thank you for everything.
May God bless and protect us!